Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 023: Patron Saint of the Misfit Readers

It all started with the Summer of Jest, which was preceded by Infinite Summer.... So much summer in the middle of a wretched winter. What gives?

Jenny sits down at the Reading Envy Pub with two friends from a book group called the Misfit Readers - Marco Morelli and Averi Dylan. They discuss origins of the group, what we read, how we read, and what it means to each of us.

Who is our patron saint? You'll have to listen to find out!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy Episode 23

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Books and authors discussed:

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (series)
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
S. by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams
Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Toni Morrison
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Underworld by Don DeLillo
Overcast by Mark Jabbour

Stalk us online:
Jenny at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter
Marco Morelli (website)
Misfit Readers on Facebook (savvy users are welcome to find us and ask to join)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jenny's Library Books Mid-February 2015

I am really reading a lot of non-fiction this year!  In the entire list of library books I have brought home or downloaded in the last month, only one is a novel.  

Comfort Found in Good Old Books by George Hamlin Fitch
Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead
A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C.S. Lewis by Devin Brown
Jack: a Life of C.S. Lewis by George Sayer
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Where the Spirits Dwell: an Odyssey in the Jungle of New Guinea by Tobias Schneebaum
Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century by Michael Gorman
The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action by Stephen Denning
Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age by Peter Matthiessen
Secret Places: My Life in New York and New Guinea by Tobias Schneebaum

The Scar (Bas Lag #2) by China MiƩville (eBook)

In my work as a librarian, I work with many First Year Writing seminars.  This semester I have two with C.S. Lewis as a topic. I had read the Chronicles of Narnia and some of the planet trilogy, but never any of Lewis's non-fiction.  The students I am working with are reading quite a bit of his theology alongside biographies on Lewis, so I picked up a few of those titles (Brown, Sayer, Lewis.)

More New Guinea books have found their way home with me - Schneebaum x2, and the Matthiessen. I won't be reading about Samoa until another month but it was just sitting there near the Matthiessen, whoops.

Another book that I brought home because it appealed to me from the shelf is the Fitch - it was near the book on librarianship by Michael Gorman.  It seems to be written because a father's son died, and his son loved to read, so he re-reads and writes about some of the classics.  I might not read it but it is over 100 years old with hand-attached illustrations.  Beautiful!

Both the Gorman and the Denning were brought to my attention because of a MOOC I'm participating in - Library Advocacy Unshushed.  I've been getting a lot out of it, not to mention an epic reading list.  The Denning may also be useful for my Storytelling class, if enough people sign up for it. I like to include elements of "applied" storytelling.

The MiƩville was a book club selection, and luckily the public library had it as an eBook!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 022: Gods and Cannibals

Today we keep it all in the family, well kind of, and Scott's son joins us to talk about books we have been reading AND enjoying lately. It is funny how sometimes unintentional themes emerge, within our own reading and between reading friends.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy Episode 22

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Books discussed:

Hyperion by Dan Simmons
The Cobra Event by Richard Preston
Euphoria by Lily King
Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? by Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey

Other books or topics that came up:

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
The Orphan's Tales by Catherynne Valente
Bones (TV show)
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Stand by Stephen King
The Higgs boson
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Also Lily King did not write The News from Paraguay. That was Lily Tuck. Jenny got a little too excited.

Stalk us online:
Jenny at GoodReads
Scott at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter
Scott on Twitter
Scott on his blog

Friday, January 30, 2015

Jenny's Books Added January 2014

This has been a great book month, with quite a few titles coming in the mail and another full set in electronic format, most of those titles for review.  But they count because I have access to them and I may read them.  So I'll do this in two chunks. First, the physical items! 

Justine by Lawrence Durrell (audiobook)
Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell (audiobook)
Clea by Lawrence Durrell (audiobook)
The Sharpshooter Blues by Lewis Nordan
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Growing Up in New Guinea by Margaret Mead
The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

Justine, Balthazar, and Clea are three books out of four of the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell.  I actually think this may be the fourth copy of Justine to come into my house, but I've never tried listening to them in audio.  I'm missing one and it might be coming in a separate box. I love the covers on these, black and white photos. I've never made it past the second book, more because I was savoring them than I couldn't read them. I'm hoping they are fantastic in audio!  I did get these from Brilliance Audio to review, just full disclosure.

The Mead and the Jones are for my Oceania reading project. The Nordan is for my southern book group and Wilson is a book club pick for the ACRL Conference I'll be attending in March.  G. Willow Wilson is one of our keynote speakers and I'm looking forward to that! I need to track down copies of her Marvel comics and Alif the Unseen, a book I loved but had read from the library.

One of the great perks of being both a librarian and a blogger/podcaster is that publishers are interested in sending you review copies of books.   After the initial understandable reaction of READING ALL THE THINGS, I now only request books I have a specific interest in.  Apparently this month that has been quite a few titles. I use both NetGalley and Edelweiss.

Digital review copies:

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen (NetGalley)
The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig (NetGalley)
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Edelweiss)
The Glittering World by Robert Levy (NetGalley)
Our Only World: Eleven Essays by Wendell Berry
Words Without Music: A Memoir by Philip Glass

I do have reasons for requesting all of these! The Gruen? Cold weather island. The Haig? New post-apocalyptic series. The Atkinson? Follow-up to the very intriguing, very successful Life After Life. The Levy? Dark fantasy that I may or may not connect with considering who they claim it is similar to (Gaiman, Mott, etc.) The Berry? I need to read more of him and I've only read fiction. Glass? Only one of the most interesting living composers of our time. Can't wait!